REASON TO LOVE OTTAWA #22: Because we have our own quizmaster (who’s likely already collecting Election 41 trivia)

REASON TO LOVE OTTAWA #22: Because we have our own quizmaster (who’s likely already collecting Election 41 trivia)

Because we have our own QUIZMASTER

Fans flock to local pubs — and there’s no game on. It’s standing room only as patrons compete to answer such burning questions as “What future Disney character appeared on an 1875 US$20 bill?” It’s trivia night, a craze that sees hundreds of detail-oriented pedants stay out late on a weeknight to satisfy their inquiring minds.

Quizmaster Paul Paquet has a legitimate reason to spend a lot of time in the bars. Photo credit: David Kawai

The trend culminates in the city’s annual World Trivia Night. The biggest live trivia event in North America, it draws up to 2,000 players and raises about $50,000 each year for the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa. Behind it all is quizmaster Paul Paquet.

Paquet, 46, is recognized internationally for his niche knowledge, writing for Trivial Pursuit, Microsoft, MTV Europe, Hershey, and Reach for the Top, among others. Former Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings even interviewed Paquet for his book, Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs — surely a fact for future Ottawa trivia nights. — Lucianne Poole

For more Ottawa trivia, we asked Paul Paquet for a few mind menders:

1. Mathematicians at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa figured out in 2009 that the best way to deal with what problem wasn’t quarantine but to go on the offensive?

2. What Ottawa high school produced Lorne Green, Peter Jennings, and Matthew Perry?

3. What structure hosted the last game in which an Ottawa team won the Stanley Cup?

4. What Ottawa-born musician wrote the theme to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show?

5. In the short story “For Your Eyes Only,” who visits Ottawa while on his way to assassinate a Nazi in Echo Lake, Vermont?

6. What leader’s photo was famously captured in Ottawa by Yousef Karsh, who plucked the cigar from his mouth?

7. During World War II, a room in what hospital was declared Dutch territory so as not to endanger the succession rights of the princess born there?

8. What federal riding is Parliament Hill itself in?

9. In 1912, Charles Melville Hays died aboard the Titanic, going down along with the furniture meant for what Ottawa hotel’s dining room?

10. In 1980, The Winnipeg Tribune folded. Suspiciously, what other newspaper closed the same day?

11. What two countries have capitals that are colder than Ottawa?

12. What Russian defector hid out at 511 Somerset Street W.?

13. Who was, almost certainly, the most famous person to eat a BeaverTail in the ByWard Market on February 19, 2009?

14. On April 7, 1868, what Father of Confederation was shot in the head while returning to his rooms at what is now 126 Sparks Street?


1. Zombies

2. Lisgar Collegiate

3. Aberdeen Pavillion at Lansdowne

4. Paul Anka

5. James Bond

6. Winston Churchill

7. Ottawa Civic

8. Ottawa Centre

9. The Château Laurier

10. Ottawa Journal

11. Mongolia and Kazakhstan

12. Igor Gouzenko

13. U.S. President Barack Obama

14. Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Read all 44 of Ottawa Magazine’s “Reasons to Love Ottawa” in the March/April edition. On newsstands now.